Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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A most unusual election with “profound” consequences: the 2024 presidential race

A+voter+approaches+the+Jackson+County+Court+House+on+Election+Day+2020+in+Murphysboro%2C+IL%2C+Tuesday%2C+November+3%2C+2020.
Angel Chevrestt | @sobrofotos
A voter approaches the Jackson County Court House on Election Day 2020 in Murphysboro, IL, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

The 2024 presidential election is months away with the first Republican caucus held in Iowa on Jan. 15 and the first primary in New Hampshire on Jan. 23. 

According to the Associated Press, in the Republican party, former President Trump leads the polls for the nomination along with four other nominees. President Biden announced reelection early last year with two other nominees for the Democratic Party. 

Despite Trump being the first president to face impeachment twice and the first president to face 34 criminal charges he remains highly favored by Republican voters. If Biden were to win this election, he would make history by being the oldest U.S. president ending his second term at 86.

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According to BBC, the states of Maine and Colorado ruled Trump ineligible to run as president on their ballots with both states believing he went against section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

The director of the Paul Simon Institute, John Shaw, said calling this the most unusual election in American history wouldn’t be a stretch. Mainly because of Trump and his political history, never having a candidate like him in the past.

“Even after I guess the thing that I mentioned…playing a very active role in the January 6 insurrection to effectively, you know, overturn, to attempt to overturn the election of 2020,” Shaw said. “The fact is that he is in a strong position to be the Republican nominee.”

Shaw said the possibility of Trump winning the GOP nod is high and, if he were to be elected, it would fundamentally change America’s democracy and the country’s role in the world.

“Polling has shown him with a commanding lead over all other candidates. But the voters have not spoken yet and it is possible that these polls are wrong,” said Shaw. “Right now the field has six or seven candidates. It could be that it will close down very quickly to just one alternative to Trump and it could be that there is, you know, that there is an alternative that emerges, but the polling does not suggest that is likely.”

Other Republican nominees include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former cabinet official during the Trump presidency Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson.

Besides Biden, Democratic nominees include former 2020 presidential candidate and author Marianne Williamson and Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips. Independent nominees include the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmental activist Jill Stein and progressive activist Cornel West.

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“I think many of the people who voted for Joe Biden in 2020, you know, hope that he would be a one-term president, hope he would help the country get through COVID-19 [and] get the economy back on track,” Shaw said. “Then step aside and let someone, another Democrat run, you know, to kind of finish his legacy.”

Shaw said he’s seen the concerns about Biden’s age and believes public perception usually assumes Biden moves slowly and Trump is healthier when we don’t know if that is the case.

“I think that there’s a wide number of people who voted for him in 2020, who might not vote, you know, so I don’t think they think he’s provided capable sound leadership, not exciting, you know, inspiring leadership and they will just choose not to vote, Shaw said. “I think Biden’s greatest concern should be that many of the people who voted for him in 2020 will not vote in 2024.”

With Biden and Trump being the lead nominees for their parties, Shaw said most Americans would rather not see a rematch between the two, but like most elections years, voting third party wouldn’t make a difference in the polls.

“A [look at the] history of American politics is pretty clear that, you know, at least at this point, still, the next President will be either Donald Trump or Joe Biden,” Shaw said. “Casting a vote for another candidate is an act of protest, but I don’t know that it would be you know, I don’t know that it would be a productive way of expressing concern.”

Nominees like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could possibly earn thousands of votes with his family name and difference in his politics than his father’s democratic ideals, but wouldn’t make a dent in a country with over 300 million people but could still impact the election, Shaw said.

Shaw said there’s been little discussion of political issues that usually come up around election time such as budget policy with the country being in trillions of debt or healthcare. Trump and Biden’s focus doesn’t seem to be on such topics for this election.

“I think Biden is going to fight the election out on that ground, that the election of Trump would be a threat to our democracy,” Shaw said.”And Trump is going to argue that, you know, his election is necessary to make America great again.”

Something important Shaw said the Republican party should do if Biden wins again is pass the victory over peacefully unlike the 2020 election.

“It was the first election in American history in which you know, the loser did not concede,  and actually disputed the outcome, and then battled to block the peaceful transfer of power,” Shaw said. “ By failing to do that, they provided an outlet for conspiracy theories to arise.”

It’s unknown as of now what the voter turnout will be. Illinois’ primary isn’t until Tuesday, March 10 along with Arizona, Florida, Kansas and Ohio. The National Republican Convention is from July 15 to the 18, and the Democratic National Convention from Aug, 19 to the 22.

“There’s gonna be two competing factors, there’s going to be a sense of disappointment in the two candidates that might have a depressing effect,” Shaw said. “But the consequences of this election seem like they’re so profound, that also could have a countervailing effect and push voter participation and turnout.”

Jamilah Lewis can be reached at [email protected]. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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